Chocolate Pear Cake with Hazelnut Crumb Topping

Focus on one slice of chocolate pear cake, with the whole cake in the background.

 

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A quick and easy Chocolate Pear Cake with the most amazing hazelnut crumb topping. The pears get so juicy and tender, making the cake irresistible. The hazelnuts don’t only add an interesting crunchy texture to the cake, but the sweet and nutty flavors from the hazelnuts work so well with chocolate and pear.

It’s not for no reason that Nutella is so popular. Chocolate and hazelnut is a match made in heaven, add any kind of bread, buns or cake and it’s utterly magical. When this chocolate pear cake is baking in the oven, the smell is to die for. Just like its twin – the cinnamon apple cake – it’s such a comforting smell, it immediately says ‘home’.

 

Chocolate pear cake on a dark plate, wooden table. Flatlay.

 

What to make with overripe pears or apples?

 

And like apples, pears are in season now. The garden trees are filled with fresh and ripe pears and apples, and we don’t always know what to do with them. Well, there are actually so many ways. You can use pears just like you use apples, the flavors pair well with a lot of the same things. I think pear works better with chocolate and ginger, while nothing beats apples and cinnamon (although pears are great with cinnamon too!). I’ve got a lot of recipes using overripe apples, but you may very well switch them up for overripe pears:

 

 

There are also a ton of recipes from my fellow bloggers that I’m keen on trying with my overripe pears, especially this apple pita pie, poached pears, homemade apple butter, a Norwegian apple cake and of course a delicious fresh pear pie.

 

One slice of chocolate pear cake, showing the layers of chocolate cake, pears and hazelnut crumb topping.

 

But I don’t like nuts in my cake

 

Me neither! I can’t stand those crunhy nutty pieces that usually occur in the middle of apple cakes or even in brownies. But as we say in Norwegian – that is like swearing in the church! Those ooey gooey brownies do not need crunchy nuts to ruin the texture. The crispy topping is just the right amount of delicious texture.

 

But I do like the nutty flavor. And so I’ve come up with a way to get the best of both worlds: add them to the crumb topping. Crumb topping is just so delicious, I’m kind of addicted. I add them to blueberry muffins, apple cakes, lemon cakes, pumpkin white chocolate muffins – like errrything cakey.

 

This way we get the crispy, slight crunchy topping, but the cake is still moist and cakey. That is also my issue with fruits and apples in cake. I like to place them more on top. That is also what I’m doing in both my apple cake and this chocolate pear cake. I’m just slightly pressing them down into the cake, but they’re still all in one place.

 

Chocolate Pear Cake in a cake pan on a cooling rack.

 

So even though you don’t like nuts or funny business in your cakes, I do think you’ll like this. As  you see, I’m very particular about that also. And this cake is truly one of my favorite simple coffee cakes! And if you need some more convincing, here are 7 ways hazelnuts can benefit your health.

 

If you’re allergic to hazelnuts (well, I am, but I still eat them because YUM and I don’t die from eating them), switch to whatever nuts you can take – walnuts are great with pears. If you are allergic to all nuts, simply leave them out – but don’t omit crumb topping entirely!

 

Chocolate Pear Cake with Hazelnut Crumb Topping

 

This actually is just a simple chocolate coffee cake that is super quick to whip together. Prepare a 9 inch (22 cm) cake pan with parchment paper at the bottom and grease the sides. Pre-heat oven to 355 F (180C).

 

Combine all the dry ingredients: flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

 

Chocolate Pear Cake with crumb topping on a dark plate, pears in the background.

 

In a large bowl, whisk eggs and both sugars together until combined. You can use a handheld mixer or just a whisk. No need to fluff the eggs too much, just mix it. Add canola oil, ricotta, milk and vanilla extract to the egg mixture and whisk until blended.

 

Combine the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients together. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture in batches and fold using a spatula. Mix until just combined. If the flour is lumpy I would definitely sift it into the wet ingredients.

 

Prepare the pears: peel, core and slice them. Peel the pear, slice in two and remove the core. Then cut each half into more slices. I like to slice them pretty thin, but not paper thin, about half an inch or 1 cm thick. You need enough pears to relatively tightly cover the cake. You don’t need to let it overflow with pears, but just cover in one layer. Slightly press them down so as to make them stick to the cake better.

 

Taking a slice of chocolate pear cake out of the whole cake.

 

How to make the best hazelnut crumb topping

 

Finely chop the hazelnuts. Combine with sugar, flour and cold butter in a small bowl. Use either a cookie cutter or fork to combine the mixture. Keep mixing until the butter resembles small peas in size.

 

You could also food process the sugar, flour and cold butter and then mix with the finely chopped hazelnuts after. That is super quick and works really well. Just pulse a little bit in the food processor – you still want those pea sized butter pieces!

 

Cover the chocolate pear cake with a generous amount of the hazelnut crumb topping. It may look like a lot, but trust me! Bake the cake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan.

 

And that’s it. Just look at how moist it is!

 

One piece of chocolate pear cake on a fork.

 

Enjoyed this Chocolate Pear Cake? Check out these fruits and veggie cakes as well!

 

 

Simple Caramel Apple Pie Cake with Cinnamon Crumb Three carrot cake cupcakes with floret shaped cream cheese frosting on a white plate. Milk in the background. Pumpkin White Chocolate Muffins with Crumb Topping

 

 

Three slices of strawberry and lemon curd cake. Flatlay. A slice of pavlova cake with fresh berries and pastry cream. Lemon Cake with lemon slices and powdered sugar on top. Background is parchment paper and a green towel. Some yellow flowers and lemons in the corner.

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later!

 

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Focus on one slice of chocolate pear cake, with the whole cake in the background.
Print Recipe
5 from 13 votes

Chocolate Pear Cake with Hazelnut Crumb Topping

A quick and easy Chocolate Pear Cake with the most amazing hazelnut crumb topping. The pears get so juicy and tender, making the cake irresistible.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Norwegian
Keyword: chocolate cake, crumb topping, easy, pear cake
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 400kcal
Author: Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Ingredients

Chocolate Pear Cake

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour 170g
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 30g
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 110g
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar 90g
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil 120g
  • 1/2 cup ricotta or sour cream, greek yoghurt. 125g
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 small pears peeled, cored and sliced

Hazelnut Crumb Topping

  • 4 tbsp cold butter cubed
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour 60g
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar 50g
  • 2 oz finely chopped hazelnuts 50g

Instructions

  • Preparations: Prepare a 9 inch (22 cm) cake pan with parchment paper at the bottom and grease the sides. Pre-heat oven to 355 F (180C).
  • Dry ingredients: Combine all the dry ingredients: flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Wet ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk eggs and both sugars together until combined. You can use a handheld mixer or just a whisk. No need to fluff the eggs too much, just mix it. Add canola oil, ricotta, milk and vanilla extract to the egg mixture and whisk until blended.
  • Combine wet and dry: Combine the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients together. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture in batches and fold using a spatula. Mix until just combined. If the flour is lumpy I would definitely sift it into the wet ingredients.
  • Prepare the pears: peel, core and slice them. Peel the pear, slice in two and remove the core. Then cut each half into more slices. I like to slice them pretty thin, but not paper thin, about half an inch or 1 cm thick. You need enough pears to relatively tightly cover the cake. You don’t need to let it overflow with pears, but just cover in one layer. Slightly press them down so as to make them stick to the cake better.
  • Hazelnut crumb topping: Chop the hazelnuts to desired size. Combine with sugar, flour and cold butter in a small bowl. Use either a cookie cutter or fork to combine the mixture*. Keep mixing until the butter resembles small peas in size.
  • Bake: Cover the chocolate pear cake with a generous amount of the hazelnut crumb topping. It may look like a lot, but trust me! Bake the cake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan.

Notes

* You could also food process the sugar, flour and cold butter and then mix with the finely chopped hazelnuts after. That is super quick and works really well. Just pulse a little bit in the food processor – you still want those pea sized butter pieces!
 
Did you make the recipe? Tag @thegingerwithspice on Instagram, I'd love to see!
Nutrition information is an estimate and is provided for informational purposes only. If you have any specific dietary concerns, please consult with your healthcare practitioner.
 

 



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